Underactive Thyroid - Hypothyroidism

Underactive Thyroid - Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. It makes hormones that control the way your body uses energy. Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid means your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormones.

In the UK, it affects 15 in every 1,000 women and 1 in 1,000 men. 



Symptoms of hypothyroidism usually appear slowly over months or years. Symptoms include:

  • Tiredness
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Aches
  • Dry skin
  • Lifeless hair
  • Mental slowing
  • Feeling cold
  • Hoarse voice
  • Irregular or heavy menstrual periods
  • Infertility and loss of sex drive


A blood test, called thyroid function test, measuring your hormone levels is the only accurate way to find out whether there's a problem.



It can often be successfully treated by taking daily hormone tablets, called levothyroxine, to replace the hormones your thyroid isn't making. All people who are stable on levothyroxine require at least annual blood test. 

More resources:


NHS UK: An underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) is where your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough hormones. Common signs of an underactive thyroid are tiredness, weight gain and feeling depressed. Click here to read more

Patient.info: If you have an underactive thyroid gland, the condition is called hypothyroidism. In hypothyroidism, there is a reduced level of thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in the body. This can cause various symptoms, the most common being: tiredness, weight gain, constipation, aches, dry skin, lifeless hair and feeling cold. Click here to read more ....

Mayo Clinic: Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of certain important hormones. Women, especially those older than age 60, are more likely to have hypothyroidism. Click here to read more ....

Thyroid UK: This is when the thyroid produces less thyroid hormone than it should which causes the metabolism to run too slow.  This is called hypothyroidism, myxoedema or an underactive thyroid. It may also be called Hashimoto's disease. Click here to read more...

Further help & information:  

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